Friday, 19 December 2014


In a roof garden on a floating city at night, David and Coya Falkayn hear music, smell Terrestrial and imported flowers and see ship lights like "...fireflies that had wandered far from land..." (Rise Of The Terran Empire, p. 31) and stars that "...seemed almost near enough to touch." (ibid.)

Coya wishes that this could go on forever and they discuss different hypothetical infinities. David reflects that even the best antisenescence will give them only a hundred years - although I heard recently that people now being born in developed countries are expected to reach a hundred and twenty, other things being equal, of course.

Although nothing is forever, the Falkayns' evening in that garden is more permanent for us than for them because we can reread it. At the outer rail, they are screened by "[v]ine-heavy trellises..." (p. 32), Luna lights the waves, water is " fluid obsidian..." (ibid.), leaves shine in the shadows, the deck pulses and the breeze is slightly chill. Rereading, I pause here rather than rushing on to the imminent interstellar war.

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